THE CENTRAL COMMANDMENT of Scripture is to love God and others, yet this is precisely the commandment we find impossible to obey. Tragically, when we look within we soon discover we are loveless at heart: "For out of the heart comes evil..." (Mark 7:21; Jer. 17:9). The essence of Torah is to love, to "do good and no evil," but we are inherently selfish, judgmental of others, calloused, and proud. So how can we do the impossible?
There is a persistent temptation to regard our inability to love as the result of something other than our own inner perversity, or what the Bible calls "spiritual death." If we are not careful, we will pray that the Lord will show mercy and compassion on that which is to crucified, buried, and taken away. God does not reform our carnal nature but puts it on the cross to be done away, and then he replaces it with a radically new nature based on the Spirit and resurrection life... This great miracle of God is found in union with the Messiah's life. "Live in me and I will live in you," Yeshua says, "as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it finds life in the vine, neither can you, unless you find life in me; for apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:4-5). You cannot do the impossible, but with God all things are possible (Mark 10:27; Phil. 4:13).
Therefore the ability to love comes by the miracle of God (Ezek. 36:26; 1 John 4:19). As we live in Yeshua, we find life, love, light, truth, and salvation from the hell of a loveless heart. Unite yourself with his death, burial, and resurrection; reckon yourself to be immersed into him, death-for-death, life-for-life (Rom. 6:8-11; Col. 3:1-4). "Unless a seed of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it abides alone..." (John 12:24). Yeshua is the source of all life, and we find nourishment, strength, and fullness of joy as we connect with him.
By faith affirm: "I have been crucified with Messiah, and it is no longer 'I' who live, but Messiah who lives in me" (Gal. 2:20). There is a new "I" that comes from above, known only in spiritual relationship with the Savior. The miracle of the exchanged life comes as we surrender to the truth of what God has done for us (2 Cor. 5:17). That's the essence of the gospel, "the power of God for salvation to all who believe" (Rom. 1:16). Therefore we do not attempt to crucify ourselves, or labor to reform our lower nature, but we instead accept that we already have been crucified by the mercy and power of God. We clothe ourselves in the robes of his righteousness as we celebrate God's redeeming love for our lives. Only then are we empowered by the Spirit to truly "love the LORD and keep his charge."